Excerpt from The Alpha Omega Male by Paul Rodney Turner
“We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place, we have no Great war, no Great depression,
our great war is a spiritual war…”
– Tyler Durden (Fight Club) written by Chuck Palahniuk
Palahniuk’s profound words could not be more pertinent in a world where most men struggle for true purpose – a world that has the audacity to question the very nature and importance of masculinity! Indeed, what we have today is a “spiritual war” with men struggling to find purpose, and in this book, I aim to address this challenge to masculinity with a spiritual perspective.
If you’re new to martial arts or a veteran of combat sports, or are just curious about how you can bring out the “alpha male” within you, waiting to roar with confidence, I can assure you this book will provide you the answers and maybe even more than you expect.
Since the dawn of time, men have had an unspoken rule that the man with the most testosterone or bravado should be the one that leads the pack. This same instinct is there in the animal kingdom, so we can assume that it’s part of the natural order of things.
However, determining that male with the highest leadership qualities has laid the groundwork for conflict in both the human and animal kingdoms of the world, where we witness a classic one-on-one fight to determine that answer.
The modern versions of this conflict are most notably found in MMA, boxing, and all kinds of one-on-one competition, including passive sports such as billiards and ping pong. These table sports might seem passive, but you can be sure there is a sizing-up period before the competition that influences the eventual outcome. In regards to billiards, I talk about this pre-game intimidation in my other book, The YOGA of POOL, which I will quote from here:
Webster defines the word “spirit” as: “Energy, vivacity, ardor, enthusiasm, courage,” etc., while the term “spirited” is defined as: “Animated; full of life and vigor, lively,” etc.
The word “spirit” expresses the essence of Universal Power and is present in man as the core of his being—his inner strength and power as a soul. Spiritedness does not mean the quality of being ethereal, spiritual, or otherworldly. It merely denotes a state of being “animated” or “possessed of vigor.” This vigor comes from the very core of one’s being—the “I AM” region or plane of consciousness. The quality of spiritedness is manifested in different degrees among different men—and animals. It is an elementary, primitive idiom of life and is never dependent upon culture, refinement, or education. Its development is a consequence of one’s ability to recognize one’s power within. And the more you can develop spiritedness, the better chance you’ll have at winning in all areas of your life, what to speak of billiards.
Within the animal kingdom, we see how the quality of spiritedness plays into determining who will be the alpha male. For example, if you put two male baboons in the same cage, rather than launch into an attack on one another, they will open their mouths to expose all their teeth and then proceed to ‘blow’ at each other. But one of them will blow with a hint of fear that immediately marks him as the inferior male, and the “fight” is over. It is the same with the big cats. Put a dozen lions together, and they also, usually without a single strike, soon discover which one of them possesses the nerve of the leader. After that, he takes the choice of the females. He becomes the leader of the pride. It is not always the baboon with the fiercest teeth nor the biggest lion that asserts his dominion by winning a physical fight—it is still something far subtler than the physical—the animal’s self-esteem or its spiritedness.
And so, it is with men. It is not the dog in the fight but the “fight in the dog” that endures. The spiritedness or “nerve” or “mettle” of a man is always the deciding factor.
There may be no feeling of antagonism between you and your opponent, but there will be an inward recognition on both sides that one of you is superior. This superiority does not depend upon physical strength, intellectual prowess, social status, or skill set but upon the expression and recognition of one’s inner power or spiritedness.
We often hear of people “lacking spirit”; or having had “their spirit broken,” etc. The term is used in the sense of “mettle.” “A horse with a “bigger heart” will always run a gamer race and will often outdistance and out-cardio a horse having greater physical characteristics, but less “spirit” or “heart.” Other horses become discouraged and allow themselves to be beaten by higher-spirited horses, even though they may be superior physical specimens. This spiritedness or valor of an individual is a vital quality of success. Still, it can only be developed and strengthened once you become firmly established in knowing your higher self. Never allow someone else to define who you are. Believe in yourself and know that you are much more than what the world sees externally.
A warrior is essentially a person who has experience and skill in fighting, esp. as a soldier. However, we now see the term loosely thrown around to refer to any person that has a fighting spirit. Some synonyms of warrior include a “dog,” “man-at-arms,” “serviceman,” “soldier,” or “trooper.” The history and etymology of the word warrior go back to Middle English with werreour, from Anglo-French werreier and Guerrier to wage war.
For the sake of this book, we’ll stick with the more modern usage of referring to a warrior as someone with a fighting spirit. Therefore, a warrior is a person who never gives in to their opponent and is ready to fight to the death, both figuratively and literally.
This fighting spirit is not easily trained but is typically something that a person is born with through the genetic coding passed on from their ancestors and the environment they were raised in during the formative years of their life.
There are always exceptions to this rule, and indeed there are athletes and regular folk who have developed this fighting spirit through the hardening experiences of their lives.
One can undoubtedly develop and be trained to have a warrior spirit. Still, even those that are successful despite having no early martial arts experience or alpha male role model in their present life, if we dug a little deeper into their ancestry, we would find these qualities were present in some person in their genealogy. By the grace of good karma, the warrior coding showed up in them once given a chance.
In my case, my original Australian ancestor, Thomas Kidner, was a convict on the first fleet led by Captain James Cook, who arrived on Australia’s shores back in 1788. Considering the hardships the convicts had to endure, I’m sure Thomas had a warrior spirit. His wife, Jane Whiting, certainly did as well. She was sentenced to death at the age of 14 for stealing a frock and a hat from an 8-year-old girl in England but was later pardoned by King George and sent on the ship Lady Juliana, that was part of the second fleet to Australia. Both Thomas and Jane worked hard to build the original colonies that became the foundation for modern Australia. However, more recently, my father, Rodney John Turner, had a fighting spirit and always tried to instill this trait in my brothers and me, citing examples of his own victories or those of his mates. One story comes to mind of his friend “Lippy,” who was badly beaten by another man at the pub, but the following night Lippy called the same man out to fight again, determined to claim victory. Apparently, this scenario played out over five nights in a row until the assailant finally relented, and Lippy succeeded. He just could not compete with Lippy’s utter determination to win. This example impressed upon my father and he tried his best to pass it on to his sons.
Indeed this “never-give-up” attitude was drilled into me from an early age both from my father and his hard-nosed mates. As a result, as a young man, I was never afraid to fight another much larger boy or back down from competition. In fact, I was so cocky I would sometimes pick fights with bigger boys just to prove myself. Through genetic programming, I am now witnessing this same will-to-win attitude manifesting in my own son, Bhimal. However, unlike my father, I am teaching Bhimal to win and lose with dignity since the fact is, no man is invincible.
There is nothing wrong with cultivating a warrior spirit, but don’t assume that this is somehow synonymous with disrespecting your opponent. In all the great martial arts traditions of the world, we can see mutual respect is a pillar of winning and losing with honor.
But how do we learn to win and lose with such dignity?
The answer to that can only be found once you go deep into the essence of who you are as a spiritual being. And this is where the omega side of perfect masculinity comes to bear.